Mass Exchange Between Mobile Fresh Water and Immobile Saline Water in the Unsaturated Zone

H. Gvirtzman, M. Magaritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A profile of tritium concentrations measured in the unsaturated zone in loessial sediments in a semiarid area is interpreted in terms of mobile and immobile water domains, according to a physical nonequilibrium transport model. The mobile domain is represented by percolating fresh water from both rain and irrigation, and the immobile one is represented by isolated fossil saline water pockets. The two domains are connected by partially-saturated narrow passages within dispersed clay minerals. The transport of the mobile water is described by convective-dispersive flow and mass exchange between the two water domains takes place simultaneously. The relevant equations with the given initial - boundary conditions are solved numerically, and the simulated profile is adjusted to fit the measured profile. By taking into account variations of the mass exchange coefficient in relation to matrix characteristics, we were able to obtain an adequate reconstruction of the measured profile. Temporal changes in matrix characteristics are attributed to dispersion kinetics of clays at the interface between fresh and saline waters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopments in Water Science
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Mass Exchange Between Mobile Fresh Water and Immobile Saline Water in the Unsaturated Zone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this